Moroccans’ attitudes toward immigrants are a mix of welcome and caution, a new Afrobarometer survey reveals.
While one-third of Moroccans say refugees, migrants, and other displaced persons should be allowed to live in the country, only a quarter are in favour of more immigrants being allowed into the country.
Although a majority of Moroccans are in favour of migrants starting businesses that employ nationals, half say immigrants take away jobs meant for locals and the country should therefore not accept any more of them.
The study also shows that more than a third of Moroccans have considered emigrating, mostly to Europe, in search for jobs.
In the past 15 years, Morocco has become a popular destination for sub-Saharan migrants and refugees from Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Nigeria, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, the Gambia, and Senegal. Through the country’s national migration and asylum strategy, adopted in 2014, more than 40,000 immigrants have been regularized and integrated into society through access to education, health care, and work.
Key findings of the report indicated that about one-third (36%) of Moroccans say “some” or “many” refugees, migrants, and
other displaced persons should be allowed to live in Morocco whilst more than half say only “a few” (30%) or “none” (26%) should be allowed in.
Two-thirds (64%) see it as a good thing for an immigrant to start a business that employs nationals (Figure 2). About four in 10 would welcome an immigrant marrying one of their close relatives (39%) or becoming their neighbour (38%). But only a
quarter (25%) are in favour of “more immigrants coming to live in the country.”
Almost half (47%) of Moroccans “agree” or “strongly agree” that migrants take away jobs from locals, and thus the country should not accept any more migrants.
Also, More than one-third (36%) of Moroccans have considered emigrating, including 13% who have given “a lot” of thought to the idea.
However, the most popular destination for potential emigrants is Europe (68%) as only 1% would prefer moving to another country in Africa whilst more than half (53%) of potential emigrants say the most important reason for considering emigration is to find work.